Brianna Wu Running for Congress

brianna-wu-for-congress

Brianna Wu has gone public on Facebook with her hope of running for Congress in 2018.

Along with Anita Sarkeesian and Zoë Quinn, Wu is frequently cited by the media as one of the targets of GamerGate supporters’ harassment of women in the gaming industry.

She told an interviewer from Venture Beat:

“The reason I decided to run is simple: [President-elect Donald] Trump is terrifyingly now in the White House. I can’t sit by making pleasant video game distractions for the next four years while the constitution is under assault. Hillary [Clinton] ran a brave marathon, and now it’s time for women of my generation to pick up that baton and commit to public service.”

“The other reason I’m running is because I’m ready for a bolder Democratic Party. I didn’t personally support Sanders in the primary, but he tapped into a very powerful disconnect between our party’s leadership and our base. We want leaders that will fight for us, and all too often the Democrats don’t stand up to the fringe extreme of the Republican Party. I’ve been called a lot of names over my career, but I’ve never been told I’m scared of a fight. You know just how passionate I am about women in tech. But I believe we’ve hit an asymptote with what activism in tech can accomplish. People are aware of the problem, but all that’s getting done is window dressing. We don’t need more catered women in tech lunches, we don’t need speeches – we need structural bias against us to stop. And I think women in tech serving in the legislative branch is the next step forward.”

Wu says she has her eye on the 8th Massachusetts Congressional district, currently served by Democratic incumbent Stephen Lynch, just re-elected to his ninth term with 74% of the vote. He’s regarded as a moderate Democrat, but says to those trying to categorize him, “Calling me the least liberal member from Massachusetts is like calling me the slowest Kenyan in the Boston Marathon. It’s all relative.”

Less than 5% of the district’s eligible voters cast ballots in the 2016 Democratic primary (29,352). Wu says she feels she is capable of getting the necessary 10,000-15,000 votes needed to knock out the incumbent.

25 thoughts on “Brianna Wu Running for Congress

  1. Stephen Lynch: Calling me the least liberal member from Massachusetts is like calling me the slowest Kenyan in the Boston Marathon. It’s all relative.

    What a *cough* “charming” display of racism. 🙄

    Gee, it’s really difficult to understand why he’s the one Wu decided to run against.

  2. Welp, a progressive Tea Party style push in the Democratic primary is certainly one way to pull the party leftward. Whether this improves their electoral numbers….

    Just keep in mind the dangers of running, oh I don’t know, reformed witches I guess.

  3. @ Hampus

    “Moderate democrat”. Isn’t that another name for “moderate republican”?

    Only in instances where a malfunctioning Overton window is in play.

    Regards,
    Dann

  4. What we in Sweden call a center extremist.

    “To the middle of us, there is only the abyss.”

  5. Why the semi-criticism?

    Brianna is a FAN! I do’t care what party she’s running for, nor what district. I know the politics (FAN – THINGS CAN AND SHOULD BE BETTER IN THE FUTURE!)

    I’m moving to that district if I can swing it. ’bout time the people who should have been running things all along got into the game.

    Tired of the woo-woo in government? Vote Wu!

  6. Why the semi-criticism?

    Brianna is a FAN! I do’t care what party she’s running for, nor what district. I know the politics (FAN – THINGS CAN AND SHOULD BE BETTER IN THE FUTURE!)

    I’m moving to that district if I can swing it. ’bout time the people who should have been running things all along got into the game.

    Tired of the woo-woo in government? Vote Wu!

    To the extent I’m able, I’m carrying water for this one!

  7. Snowcrash at 1:35 am:

    Just keep in mind the dangers of running, oh I don’t know, reformed witches I guess.

    Is this intended to be in reference to Wu? Given the history of misogynist rhetoric around her, it strikes an uncomfortable note for me.

  8. On the one hand we definitely need more young people and more women in Democratic politics, so good.

    On the other hand I think it’s traditional to get your starting experience in city and state politics before moving on to the national stage.

    In sum, I think it would be great to have more Congresspeople like her and I wish her all the best.

  9. @Andy H. – To clarify – It was in reference to this Tea Party candidate for a federal role from a few years back. She successfully primaried an incumbent, but lost considerably come the actual election.

  10. From what I’ve seen, the current popular definition of “far left Democrat” (ie, what most of my family members would call Clinton and Obama) is what used to be called a moderate Republican.

  11. Hey, that’s my district!

    Steven Lynch has not been primaried in ages. He’s not terrible, but I would definitely work for and vote for Brianna.

    Not sure how she will do in the primaries–she’s going to have to work to get to know people here. I feel like this district is older and more blue collar than most. Lynch is very pro-labor, and jobs are a big issue here. But if she can get out the vote of younger people and push for jobs, including more tech jobs in the district, she could do well.

  12. Mark:

    Boston appears to lack Republican congressmen for her to challenge.

    She doesn’t actually have to run for Congress. She doesn’t have to run for anything, really, but there are other offices. Lynch started out in the state legislature and had six years experience there before running for Congress.

    Running against a popular, strongly pro-labor Democrat in a largely blue-collar district and losing isn’t really going to accomplish much. And the longtime Democratic strategy of “I know how to make things better, let’s attack other Democrats” gets tiring after a while.

    “Moderate democrat”. Isn’t that another name for “moderate republican”?

    Not in Massachusetts.

    Steve:

    Why the semi-criticism? Brianna is a FAN! I do’t care what party she’s running for, nor what district.

    I hope most people in the district will consider party and policy and goofy-ass stuff like that, rather than just whether someone’s a fan.

    I know the politics (FAN – THINGS CAN AND SHOULD BE BETTER IN THE FUTURE!)

    Just ask the fans at Liberty Con.

    *

    I don’t what her political positions will entail, and I’m not saying she’d be bad at the job; I have no opinion there. My initial gripe was about the idea that the best way to change things would be to get rid of an experienced guy who’s on the team, rather than try to get rid of someone on the other team.

    Beyond that, taking on a hometown guy who’s also ranking member of the Oversight Subcommittee on National Security and co-chair of the Congressional Labor and Working Families Caucus is not likely to end well. The last time he was primaried he won 65-35%.

    If she wants to get more women into the legislature, she should probably consider running for a different office. Or gaining legislative experience somewhere short of the federal level.

  13. @Kurt

    Isn’t the American political process a) fight your own party then b) fight your opponents? Not particularly sensible if you ask me, but as that’s the process then why shouldn’t she play?
    I guess a requirement to gain experience at all levels would be sensible, but as it demonstrably doesn’t exist from the level of President downwards then why hold Wu to it?
    (And that leaves aside the argument that the “team” isn’t a monolithic bloc, and shifting incumbents positions through losing challenges can be a valid tactic)

  14. Isn’t the American political process a) fight your own party then b) fight your opponents?

    Not in theory, at least.

    Not particularly sensible if you ask me, but as that’s the process then why shouldn’t she play?

    Oh, she can play. People can point out she’s wasting her time, too.

    I guess a requirement to gain experience at all levels would be sensible, but as it demonstrably doesn’t exist from the level of President downwards then why hold Wu to it?

    Because if she wants to accomplish her goals, it might help.

    She could also, I guess, be the host of a popular TV game show, since that apparently works. But I don’t think she’s got that going for her either.

    (And that leaves aside the argument that the “team” isn’t a monolithic bloc, and shifting incumbents positions through losing challenges can be a valid tactic)

    That doesn’t seem to be her goal, though. Nor is she likely to change Lynch’s positions much. She’s just going to lose.

    That doesn’t mean she can’t play. But if she wants to do what she says she wants to do, I think there are smarter ways to go about it, just as there are smarter ways to get from Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard than leaping. Doesn’t mean you can’t try leaping. But if the reason you want to get to Martha’s Vineyard is so there’ll be more women on the island, I don’t recommend leaping as a strategy.

    If your position is, “It’s legal for her to do this,” I don’t remotely disagree. If your position is, “It’s a smart and effective strategy,” then I doubt it.

  15. I am in favor of women running for elected office.
    I am in favor of young people (as opposed to middle-aged and elderly people) running for elected office.
    I am in favor of people who are knowledgeable about modern technology, computers, communications, and social culture running for elected office.
    I am in favor of feminists running for elected office.
    I am in favor of people with guts running for office.

    So I was pleased to see her announcement.

  16. Maybe instead of running against a (fairly decent, it seems) Democrat, Wu could move out here to Arizona and run against Trent Franks, who is a one-issue hardcore anti-abortion turd in the bowl of Arizona politics.

    That’s a sore point with me because the Arizona Democratic Party hasn’t bothered to run opponents against Franks in the last several elections. The rationale is that Franks’ district is so heavily conservative that running a Democrat would be throwing money away.

    But… in November’s election, Franks did have an opponent, a Green Party candidate named Mark Salazar. Who ran such a low-key campaign I didn’t even known he was running until I saw his name on the ballot. And who -still- received more than 30% of the votes, over 30,000.

    There are less than 4,000 registered Green Party members in Maricopa County. So Salazar’s votes reflect not just pro-Green voters, but a -lot- of anti-Franks sentiment among other voters.

    If the Democrats had run even a token opponent against Franks, I’m pretty sure they’d have received more than 30% of the vote. Maybe they wouldn’t have won, this time. May be not even next time. But… maybe the election after that? But elections can’t be won unless YOU FREAKIN’ SHOW UP.

    *grump*

  17. My previous comment is stuck in moderation. Probably because one of my herd of foster kittens ran across the keyboard, and so File770.com thinks that post was sent by “qu” rather than by me….

  18. She could start at State Legislature, which would be fine. My state senate rep actually is a Republican, which annoys me, because I really liked his opponent. There were several primaries and run-offs for the position.

    However, if Lynch decided he didn’t want to be a rep any more, and wanted to run for governor, Wu could probably run. I looked at the numbers ages ago, and there are definitely more registered Democrats than Republicans in this district.

    Or, if she already lives in Boston, there’s City Council. Or working with Mayor Marty Walsh. There are lots of options to move into politics for someone willing to work hard and get to know the people in the district and state.

  19. “Moderate democrat”. Isn’t that another name for “moderate republican”?

    Only in instances where a malfunctioning Overton window is in play.

    @Dann et al

    You’re effectively saying that your 2-party system exists in an environment where there is little/ no crossovers between the moderates. I agree with that statement, but I do find it fascinating.

    BtW I would reckon that in much the developed world, a moderate Democrat would more likely fall in with the establishment conservative elements, while your moderate Republican… I dunno. Probably the “fringe” (religious/ country) conservatives in those countries that have them?

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